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Integrated Path to Architectural Licensure (IPAL)


Today, it can take up to 12.5 years to become a licensed architect

A new initiative - INTEGRATED PATH to ARCHITECTURAL LICENSURE (IPAL) - provides an opportunity to fulfill the requirements for architectural licensure while completing the architectural degree. Clemson University’s School of Architecture has been selected by NCARB as one of the accredited programs to participate in this initiative, and has developed a rigorous curriculum track that integrates the academic and experience components essential to architectural licensure. Architecture students selected for the program during their second year of undergraduate study will embark on a 4 ½ year track that integrates the academic components of architectural study with the internship and examination components of architectural practice. Two semesters of undergraduate study and two semesters of graduate study will take place at the Clemson Architecture Center in Charleston (CAC.C), and summer internships will be necessary to fulfill requirements.

Through Clemson’s IPAL program you can do it in 6.5 years

IPAL initiative includes 3 components:


Education introduces students to design thinking, basic historic and theoretical concepts, and the fundamentals of design.


Experience provides professional / business context under the supervision of an architect.


Examination affirms the candidate demonstrates minimal competency to practice.

Clemson's IPAL Program

Students selected for the IPAL program will commit to a coordinated work / study program that will include fulfilling Architectural Experience Program (AXP; formally known as IDP) internship credits and preparation for the Architectural Registration Examination (ARE). The IPAL academic track will require students to study both in Clemson and at the Clemson Architecture Center (CAC.C) in the new Clemson Design Center in Charleston (CDC.C), in a coordinated effort. The program is set up to provide a program of study that will include undergraduate and graduate study under the auspices of the IPAL track while at Clemson. This coordinated effort will include a curriculum of study requiring AXP internships during summers both at Clemson and the CAC.C as well as during typical semester breaks. This accelerated approach will begin with a summer internship between second and third year and each summer thereafter. This structured approach is designed to prepare students to be in position to successfully complete the program and earn licensing at the time of graduation in the summer of the sixth year. A diagram of the sequence illustrating the course of study is provided on this page.

Upon completion of the undergraduate degree, successful students will have had the opportunity to satisfy up to 50% of all AXP requirements. Graduate studies will also take advantage of the fluid campus relationship in Charleston, and will include preparation for the ARE — to be taken in the summers after the fifth and sixth years, in addition to the internships.

No program can guarantee outcomes but the Clemson IPAL academic track will provide an opportunity to be successful and to significantly reduce the time between the start of academic study to successful completion of the ARE. Students who successfully complete the program will likely be at a competitive position in the workforce.